One of the Democrats’ favored talking points during the ongoing partial shutdown is that they will not discuss border security until President Donald Trump agrees to re-open the federal government.
They cannot negotiate under duress, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) argued Tuesday, because doing so would create a bad precedent for allowing Republicans to use the threat of government shutdowns as leverage in future negotiations.
Pelosi also told me that there will be no negotiation on border security without opening the government first. She made it clear Dems will not allow POTUS to use the shutdown as a way to force legislation because it could lead to scenario like that in the future.
— Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) January 22, 2019
There is only one problem with that argument: Democrats shut down the government themselves, exactly a year ago, in an effort to force President Trump to agree to accept their terms on a permanent solution for illegal aliens who entered the country as minors and enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
National Public Radio reported on Jan. 20, 2018: “Democrats, led by [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer [D-NY], pushed to include an immigration measure that would include a pathway to citizenship for roughly 700,000 immigrants enrolled in the DACA program the Trump administration rescinded last year.”
The shutdown lasted for only three days; Democrats quickly capitulated on Jan. 22, 2018. But they had set, or accepted, the precedent of using a potential government shutdown as leverage in negotiations — over the issue of immigration in particular.
On Tuesday, Pelosi again rejected the terms of a deal to end the shutdown offered by the president on Saturday that included a three-year extension of DACA and other protections in exchange for $5.7 billion in funding for border security, including steel fencing along 230 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. She is calling the offer a “non-starter.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.